Dejan Lovren joined Liverpool from Southampton for £20m in 2014Zenit St Petersburg have signed defender Dejan Lovren from Liverpool for £10.9m on a three-year contract.The Croatia centre-back, 31, has joined the Russian club after playing in 10 Premier League games this season for champions Liverpool.Lovren, signed from Southampton for £20m in July 2014, also helped the Reds win the Champions League in 2019.He scored five goals in 131 league appearances for Liverpool but played just three times in 2020.Lovren also helped Croatia reach the 2018 World Cup final, where they lost 4-2 to France, and has 57 caps for his country.His Anfield contract ran until June 2021 and the club had an option to extend it by a year.Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said “another Liverpool legend” had left the club.”He was absolutely a very, very important part of this team from the first day since I was in,” added the German, who took charge in October 2015.Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.
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Pliskova survives scare at French Open
Karolina Pliskova reached the Italian Open final earlier in SeptemberCzech second seed Karolina Pliskova came from a set down to avoid an upset against Egyptian qualifier Mayar Sherif in the French Open first round.World number four Pliskova, 28, had eight set points in the opener, before losing to Sherif – ranked 172nd in the world…
Karolina Pliskova reached the Italian Open final earlier in SeptemberCzech second seed Karolina Pliskova came from a set down to avoid an upset against Egyptian qualifier Mayar Sherif in the French Open first round.World number four Pliskova, 28, had eight set points in the opener, before losing to Sherif – ranked 172nd in the world – in a tie-break.The 2017 semi-finalist wrapped up a quick second set against the 24-year-old after winning four games in a row.Pliskova came through a tense decider to claim a 6-7 (9-11) 6-2 6-4 victory.”It was super tough,” she said. “Especially after losing the first set after having set points.”She played a great game, especially in these conditions.”Sherif kept up an impressive level throughout and the pair exchanged breaks at the start of the second set.But Pliskova then won four games in a row, eventually holding serve to level things.The Czech was made to work much harder for the final set as she failed to convert five break points before winning the sixth to go 4-3 up.She held serve and wrapped up the match after two hours and 15 minutes with an ace down the middle.Pliskova, who has never won a Grand Slam, will face Latvian world number 43 Jelena Ostapenko in the second round.Live scores, results and order of playAlerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone
Williams overcomes slow start to win
Serena Williams is a three-time champion at Roland Garros, having won the 2002, 2013 and 2015 titlesSerena Williams began her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title with a hard-fought win over fellow American Kristie Ahn in the French Open first round.Sixth seed Williams, who turned 39 on Saturday, overcame a rusty start to win…
Serena Williams is a three-time champion at Roland Garros, having won the 2002, 2013 and 2015 titlesSerena Williams began her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title with a hard-fought win over fellow American Kristie Ahn in the French Open first round.Sixth seed Williams, who turned 39 on Saturday, overcame a rusty start to win 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 in Paris.Once she came through a 74-minute opener, Williams began to play with more belief and clarity as she swept Ahn aside in a one-sided second set.Williams will play Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round.Pironkova, 33, was handed a wildcard by Roland Garros after a memorable run to the US Open quarter-finals – where she lost to Williams – in her first tournament since 2017 after giving birth.More to follow.Live scores, results and order of playAlerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone
‘We have lost the plot with handball’
MOTD2: ‘Ridiculous’ handball rule has ‘got to change’Football has “lost the plot” with the new handball ruling and decisions made by officials are causing Premier League matches to “lose the spectacle”, says Newcastle manager Steve Bruce.The Magpies were awarded a late penalty after Andy Carroll’s knockdown came off Eric Dier’s arm inside the box.Callum Wilson…
MOTD2: ‘Ridiculous’ handball rule has ‘got to change’Football has “lost the plot” with the new handball ruling and decisions made by officials are causing Premier League matches to “lose the spectacle”, says Newcastle manager Steve Bruce.The Magpies were awarded a late penalty after Andy Carroll’s knockdown came off Eric Dier’s arm inside the box.Callum Wilson converted the 97th-minute spot-kick in the 1-1 draw at Tottenham.Spurs boss Jose Mourinho did not want to comment but said there was “no respect” for his club.’We’ve lost the plot’ – Bruce on handball and VARThe hosts led through Lucas Moura’s first-half strike but missed a number of chances, allowing Newcastle to earn a point with their only shot on target in the contest.With time running out, Jonjo Shelvey floated a free-kick into the area which substitute Carroll nodded down but the ball came off Dier’s outstretched arm – with the defender’s back towards the ball – as he jumped to make a challenge.Following a lengthy consultation with the video assistant referee (VAR), on-field official Peter Bankes awarded the penalty after reviewing the incident on the pitch-side monitor.Jose Mourinho says Spurs ‘deserve more respect’Mourinho walked down the tunnel in disgust after seeing Wilson score the penalty and, when asked to give his reaction to the decision, he said: “I don’t want to speak about it.”The only feeling I am ready to share is that I don’t feel Tottenham is respected according to what the club is. No respect.”It is my feeling. You know it is the third club I have managed in the country, so happy so proud, so happy every day, I would not change it for any other job in the world but I feel it, I feel we deserve more respect.”So far this season, six penalties have been awarded for handball compared to 19 in the entirety of the last campaign. At this stage last season, there had been no penalties awarded for handball in the Premier League.The major European leagues were already implementing the new ‘stricter’ interpretation of the handball law last season and that resulted in 50 penalties due to handball in La liga and 60 in Serie A.Bruce added: “The handball has been around for a hundred years. If it is deliberate, no problem, but it has to be clear and obvious. We have lost the plot with it and it loses the spectacle of it.”Maybe we can do something about it, we seem to have these phases where we take everything literally in the Premier League and maybe we have to say no to it.”On Saturday, Roy Hodgson said the “nonsense” handball law that led to a penalty against Joel Ward in Crystal Palace’s 2-1 defeat by Everton was “ruining the game”.Referee Peter Bankes reviewed the decision on the pitch-side monitorSo what is the new law?A new interpretation of the handball law was introduced at the beginning of this season. Under these new rules, a player will be penalised for handball if:The hand/arm is clearly away from the body and outside the “body line” .The player clearly leans into the path of the ball.The ball travels some distance.The ball touches a hand/arm that is clearly raised above the shoulder.The player falls and the hand/arm is extended laterally or vertically away from the body.A deflection clearly makes no difference to the ball touching a hand/arm that is clearly extended away from the body and/or above the shoulder’An absolute joke’ – what the pundits saidFormer Premier League striker Clinton Morrison on BBC Radio 5 Live: “It’s a terrible decision. I would be going mad. VAR is ruining our game. It’s the law, I understand, but he is facing the other way. We have got to be more consistent when we are making these decisions.”I totally get it’s the law, but you’ve got to be consistent. Mourinho will be asking why they did not decide to check the handball incident with Jamaal Lascelles moments before, which looked more of a penalty. Dier was looking the other way.”It just frustrates me. At the end of the game I want to talk about football. Instead we are talking about VAR and the handball rule. I would take the handball rule away from the VAR officials.”I like it that the referee goes to the monitor because the players will respect it more. I don’t blame the referee, I blame VAR. That is the problem.”Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher on Sky Sports: “An absolute disgrace, a joke. Everyone in this country will say what I am saying. “Dier had no control of where his arm was. Whether it’s the FA, Fifa, Pierluigi Collina, stop it, it is ruining football for everyone. An absolute joke.”Former Newcastle manager Graeme Souness: “It is the new rules. It is harsh but these are the rules.”Maybe it is going to create more excitement and goals and eventually we will get to accept it.”‘Get our game back’ – reaction on social mediaWhat you said on #bbcfootball:Ashley: Yes we need VAR, but that was never a handball by Dier. He clearly didn’t know where the ball was! Change the rule NOW!Adam Salter: In all seriousness, accidental handball should not be given as a penalty. Give it the hockey treatment and award an indirect free-kick on the corner of the box on the byline.